When you fall you always get up, correct? Well we all have attended that one ceremony that takes the real inner you out and shows it to the world. Well for me that ceremony was my great grandfather’s viewing. For me it was very strange mainly because I had never ever had a family member pass away, it was like “wow, it actually happened . And on the drive down for the funeral and all that, I sat in my mother’s car wondering how I was going to tackle this situation, only because I was never close to my great grandfather.
He and my great grandmother lived about 2 hours north of Miami, where as I live 1 hour north of Orlando. But when it came time for the viewing I didn’t cry for I had unfortunately not knew him the way my grandmother or mother did, so I did what a wonderful grandson or son would do, I helped them with the pain and the anger. I sat with them and we hugged and I told them it would be ok. So in the following paragraphs I’ll explain how I helped myself with my inner feelings and my inner me and how I overcame this life changing situation.
Well with the passing of my great grandfather I did some things that I had never done before, I let everyone in. As I let everybody see how I felt about it we all gathered as one to see how we as a family we were going to cope with the loss. When my mother told my sister and I that our grandfather had died we said “What, You’re kidding right? He’s like 96 years old , that was the first thing on my mind. He was 96 years old with not a single health issue or mental issue and out of nowhere told that he had died.
So the first thing I did to try to deal with the situation the best way I could was to ask “When are we leaving? and that pretty much set the course. When we got to Miami (that’s where the funeral was going to be held only because they lived in a small town that had no funeral homes or cemeteries) I got out of the car and entered the funeral home, I found the clerk and asked “Antonio Hernandez’s viewing room please . So the clerk lady led me to the room full of family members and family friends.
When I walked into the room first thing that I did was to make instant eye contact with my grandmother Daisy, we stared at each other for about 20 sec then she just burst into tears and I ran straight for her and we hugged and I told her it would ok in Spanish. So as we finished our long hug she wiped her eyes and I did again the same thing with my great grandmother. After that I went to my grandfather Osvaldo and we sat and talked, then my cousins came as well and we all sat and talked.
But in the midst of talking I saw my mother walk up to my great grandfather’s coffin and start crying so I left the circle that we had formed and approached my mother told her it would be ok and that he was now in God’s company. He was now in heaven and that he would watch over the family and take care of us. And with that last word I hugged her again and I walked out of the funeral home and sat in the parking lot and just thought “what is the best way to help them get through this dilemma. So I thought of many other things but in the end I just kept asking myself the same question over and over again.
When the viewing ceremony was over and everyone was starting to shuffle out of the home, all that was left was my grandparents, my parents, my sister and I. Then my mother said “ok guys time to go, we have to check in to the hotel and my response was “um I don’t want to leave I want to stay here the night with grandma and grandpa and them so I sat their discussing the matter with my parents and ended up not being allowed to stay because of emotional reasons. The next morning was the funeral; we all got dressed up and went to down stairs to the lobby of the hotel to get breakfast.
When we had finished we drove over to the funeral home and got the coffin into the car that was carrying it to the grave site. But the one uplift of the trip was when we were exiting the funeral home where there was a limo outside just sitting there and the driver ushering us toward it. So we asked “is this ride for us? and the driver said yes, the home had paid for it. So we got in and were then met by a police escort, so as we drove along through the highway all we saw were the police escorts on their motorcycles stopping the traffic so we could go on to the cemetery.
When we got there it was really weird because I have a fear of cemeteries but that’s beside the point. When we got out of the car my dad went with some other family members to carry my great grandfather (they carried the coffin not him literally) to the site where we were going to bury him. Now when we got to the spot I was so confused because we stopped at a wall and I asked “what’s going on, why aren’t we going over to the field were all the people usually get buried? and the response was “we decided to bury your grandfather in the mausoleum because that’s what the family had decided along time ago . So I accepted it and stood and watched as they slide my grandfather into this hole in the side of the wall. And while they did that my father said some words. Just before they closed the hole with the slab of marble with the engraving “Antonio Hernandez and his date of birth and death my great grandmother said goodbye to the man she had married only 65 years before and whom she had spent her whole life with.
When the funeral concluded we all hugged and kissed and went back to our cars and drove back up to my grandmother Daisy’s house and spent the rest of the weekend their relaxing and trying to get used to having one less person in the house. When the weekend had ended we gathered our things packed the car and started on the 4 hour drive back home to good old Eustis. But in the end, this taught me to all ways love and cherishes your family and those you love.